‘Black Internationalism's Politics of Land’

This paper draws out those structures of solidarity and global visions of Black freedom articulated around the event of the 1974 Sixth Pan African Congress in Dar es Salaam and the identification of industrial agriculture as a central pillar of Black liberation. As Quito Swan notes in his analysis of the call for 6PAC, organizers positioned technological innovation in relation to cultivation practices as a central path towards economic self-reliance. But the question of land use drew the attention of writers who lived and travelled in and around East Africa at this historical juncture. This paper draws on the work of Keorapetse Kgositsile, who was involved in the early planning of 6PAC and Gwendolyn Brooks, who travelled to Tanzania three years prior to the Congress and collaborated with artists and poets who subsequently made contributions to 6PAC as a way to consider how poetry confronts the contradictions inherent to political investments in economic planning. Through a focus on those circuits of exchange this paper seeks to develop a theory of global solidarity structured around competing claims about the potential of land and plot to facilitate economic, political, and creative freedom on a global scale.